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Movie Review - Patriots Day (2016)

Updated on December 28, 2020
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A passionate screenwriter and freelance blogger with deep interest in horror, action, and documentary films.

Patriots Day (2016) Movie Poster
Patriots Day (2016) Movie Poster

Overview

Patriots Day (2016) is a American action thriller film directed by Peter Berg and screenplay written by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer. The film is produced by CBS Films, Closet to the Hole Productions, and Bluegrass Films. Patriots Day (2016) is distributed by Lionsgate Films and it is first screened at AFI Fest on November 17, 2016. The film is then released in American theaters on December 21, 2016. Since its release, the film has grossed over $52.2 million in American box office tickets. Patriots Day (2016) is based on the true events that took place in 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The film cast stars Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan.


Left to Right: Alex Wolff, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, and Themo Melikidze at the AFI Fest premiere of Patriots Day (2016)
Left to Right: Alex Wolff, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, and Themo Melikidze at the AFI Fest premiere of Patriots Day (2016)

Summary

The beginning of the film starts out in the year 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) raids a suspected criminal's house and detains the criminal. Commissioner Davis (John Goodman) assigns Saunders to provide security and patrol at the Boston Marathon. The next morning, brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Themo Melikidze) plant two bombs near the crowd during the marathon. The two bombs go off causing people to panic and Saunders watches the horror unfold in front of him. Saunders and his crew evacuate the injured out of the marathon. He griefs with his wife Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) about the traumatic events that unfolded at the marathon. Inside the hospital, there is a widespread chaos that unfolds.


Sergeant Tommy Saunders patrolling at the Boston Marathon
Sergeant Tommy Saunders patrolling at the Boston Marathon
Sergeant Tommy Saunders griefs with Carol Saunders
Sergeant Tommy Saunders griefs with Carol Saunders

An injured couple Patrick Downes (Christopher O'Shea) and Jessica Kensky (Rachel Brosnahan) are separated in the hospital. Both of them are told by the doctors that they need to have their legs amputated from severe wounds. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, FBI agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) arrives at the scene and meets with Commissioner Davis. Richard commands his crew to investigate the footage of the bombing before it happened. One of the crew members spot Dzhokhar and Tamerlan as the main suspects. The news press releases the identification of the marathon bombing suspects as the police puts a city lockdown to find the suspects. Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and his men search for the suspects around the Boston neighborhood area and find no luck.

Injured Jessica Kensky escorted out of the marathon in a stretcher
Injured Jessica Kensky escorted out of the marathon in a stretcher
FBI agent Richard DesLauriers, Sergeant Tommy Saunders, and Commissioner Davis investigating the footage of the bombings
FBI agent Richard DesLauriers, Sergeant Tommy Saunders, and Commissioner Davis investigating the footage of the bombings

At night, the brothers spots a MIT police officer Sean Collier (Jake Picking) sitting in his police car and approaches him. The brothers try to steal Collier’s pistol, but struggles and fails. Tamerlan takes out his pistols and kills Collier as they flee. Dun Meng (Jimmy O. Yang) sitting inside his own car and text messaging his girlfriend. Tamerlan knocks on his window and asks for help. Meng offers to help, but instead gets carjacked by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. Tamerlan puts Meng as a hostage and reveals to him that they are the ones that bomb the Boston Marathon. They reveal their plans to Meng that they are going to bomb New York City next. They arrive at a gas station to put gas and Dzhokhar heads to the convenience store to buy food. Meanwhile inside the car, Meng slowly reaches for the door handle and escapes. He runs toward the next gas station across the street as the brothers flee. Meng tells the gas station clerk to call the police and hides behind the counter.

Tamerlan carjacks Dun Meng's car
Tamerlan carjacks Dun Meng's car
Dun Meng calls the police at the gas station
Dun Meng calls the police at the gas station

Saunders and his crew arrive at the gas station and Meng tells Saunders that he was carjacked by the brothers. Meng gives the GPS serial number to Saunders to track down the stolen car. In the neighborhood, one of the officers tracks down Tamerlan and Dzhokhar which result in a deadly shootout. Dzhokhar throws multiple cooked bombs at the officers which injures several. Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese arrives at the scene and shoots Tamerlan in the ankle. Tamerlan tells Dzhokhar to drive to New York as Saunders and his men arrive at the scene. Tamerlan sacrifices himself by putting himself in line of fire while Dzhokhar drives away. Tamerlan accidentally gets run over by Dzhokhar and gets killed. Dzhokhar drives away as the police shoot at him.

Tamerlan shootout with the police in the neighborhood
Tamerlan shootout with the police in the neighborhood

The next day, Tamerlan’s wife Katherine Russell (Melissa Benoist) is interrogated by FBI agents about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar's planned attack. She refuses to give answers to the agents. In a house backyard, David Henneberry (himself) spots Dzhokhar hiding inside his boat and calls the police. The police and FBI SWAT team arrives to apprehend Dzhokhar and arrests him. News media reports that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar have been caught. People cheer for the police while the SWAT arrests Dzhokhar friends for hiding Dzhokhar weapons. At the Boston Red Sox game, baseball player David Ortiz (himself) introduces the heroes of Boston police to the field as the crowd cheers.

Katherine Rusell interrogated by FBI agents
Katherine Rusell interrogated by FBI agents
David Ortiz introduces the heroes of Boston police to the field
David Ortiz introduces the heroes of Boston police to the field

Review

Patriots Day (2016) really touches on the true events that took place in 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The director did a good job of putting a lot of details into the film such as adding real camera footage of the traumatic events and each scene made the buildup more interesting. The film is based on several real life characters going through the emotions. However, the dialogue needs a little bit of work and the satire in the film made the movie less serious. Although, the satire won't distract the film entirely and it will ease the tension in heavy scenes. Patriots Day (2016) is now streaming on Netflix with subscription.


Behind The Scenes of Patriots Day (2016)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Daniel Won

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